NDR 2022: 150,000 homes to be built in future town at Paya Lebar Air Base, says PM Lee, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

NDR 2022: 150,000 homes to be built in future town at Paya Lebar Air Base, says PM Lee

An estimated 150,000 new public and private homes - roughly the number in Punggol and Sengkang combined - would be built in the future town in Paya Lebar after the Paya Lebar Air Base relocates in the 2030s.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave details of the area's redevelopment in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday (Aug 21).

The military airbase's move to Changi will also have an impact on neighbouring towns like Hougang, Marine Parade and Punggol, as building height restrictions in those areas can be lifted, said PM Lee. This means that the towns can make better use of their space and be redeveloped to have more amenities.

"It will not happen overnight. But over decades, we can completely reimagine the eastern part of Singapore."

He also gave the assurance that Singapore would not run out of space in the future, and that housing would be available and affordable, adding that the Government has done its studies and planning.

"Our problem is not finding the space to build enough flats, nor keeping the flats affordable for Singaporeans. It is having enough babies to grow up and live in them," said PM Lee, who was speaking at the Institute of Technical Education headquarters in Ang Mo Kio.

About 800ha of land in Paya Lebar will be freed up for housing and industries with the airbase's relocation, which was first announced by PM Lee at the 2013 National Day Rally.

In June this year, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said the site would comprise housing and recreational facilities, provide space for businesses which would offer employment opportunities, and tap the area's aviation history.

The URA is currently engaging the public and industry partners to explore redevelopment concepts for the site.

One idea features the airbase's 3.8km-long runway, which is aligned along the direction of prevailing winds so aircraft can avoid crosswinds when taking off and landing, said PM Lee. The future town could be oriented parallel to the runway so it can be naturally breezy.

"Hopefully, residents will not need air-conditioning quite as much," he said.

The runway could also be repurposed to become the town's central spine, and turned into a green connector or community space extending from one end of the town to the other, he added.

Public and private housing could be built on both sides of the spine, and it would be a distinctive and attractive heritage feature unique to Paya Lebar, said PM Lee.

Paya Lebar is just one example of how the Government is reimagining and transforming Singapore, he said, citing other examples across the island like the Greater Southern Waterfront, which extends from Pasir Panjang to Marina East, and the Jurong Lake District.

Each new estate would be more liveable, greener, and more sustainable than the previous one, and that is not easy to achieve, PM Lee said.

"But just as past generations planned for and created the Singapore that we live in today, we too must never stop imagining and building the future Singapore for the next generation and beyond," he said.